How to Kill an Application When Force Quit Doesn't Work

How to Kill an Application When Force Quit Doesn't Work

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These are instructions on how to kill a frozen application on your Mac. You may need to do this if your application has stopped responding and will not close. Make sure you attempt to Force Quit using these steps first before continuing.

Step One
Launch Terminal from your Applications:Utilities folder.
How to Kill an Application When Force Quit Doesn't Work

Step Two
Input the command top into the Terminal window then press the Enter key.
How to Kill an Application When Force Quit Doesn't Work

Step Three
You will be displayed a list of running processes on your system. Notice each process is assigned a PID. Locate the process that is not responding and take note of its PID.
How to Kill an Application When Force Quit Doesn't Work

If you do not see your process on the short list drag the handle at the bottom right of the window downwards to display more of the list.
How to Kill an Application When Force Quit Doesn't Work

Press the q button to quit top.
How to Kill an Application When Force Quit Doesn't Work

Step Four
Input kill followed by the PID of the process you would like to close into the Terminal window. For example, if we wanted to close uTorrent top revealed that its PID was 38209. So we would input kill 38209 then press the Enter key.
How to Kill an Application When Force Quit Doesn't Work

Step Five
The application has now been forcefully killed and is no longer running.
How to Kill an Application When Force Quit Doesn't Work

How to Kill an Application When Force Quit Doesn't Work
Kuro Titania - April 25, 2015 at 2:15am
Im trying to close uTorrent with the same method but it won't show up on "top" when it is clearly in dock and refuses me to log off my mac because it is "in use" when i can't even open the app myself anymore because of all the attempts to delete it.
shahad - June 9, 2016 at 3:24am
did you solve this problem ? cause i have the same issue now and i dont know how to solve it :( i cant find utorrent on "top" !
eliezer frank - June 22, 2016 at 4:49am
I'm having the same exact problem now with iTunes its not showing up in top does anyone know what to do?????
Erin - March 6, 2010 at 2:08am
Thanks for this but I am trying to close damn Carbonite and cannot force quit... cannot trashi it because it is running. After trying this it said \"not permitted\" Is there a way around that? I will go try the 9 part now.
Ari Weinstein - January 23, 2010 at 4:41pm
Is there any reason to look up the PID yourself and use kill? Why not just use killall instead? For example, \"killall Safari\" will kill Safari. Also, I find that force quitting three times in a row seems to do something more than just force quitting once, and will get rid of just about any frozen app. If that doesn\'t work, a regular killall probably won\'t suffice either, so I have to resort to -9, as in \"killall -9 Safari\", which will kill it basically no matter what.
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